Fantasy Football News and Updates: 2013 NFL Week 15 Notes, Observations, and Review
Jason's Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 15 What We Learned
December 17, 2013
Week 15 What We learned
The Kings of Clutch (Brady, Brees, and Peyton) are losing their touch. For the many years now, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady have been the best quarterbacks in the NFL. When there is a must win game on the schedule, everyone wants one of these three super star quarterbacks. The funny thing about that is the fact that all three of them lost this week with major playoff implications on the line. Once the dust settled after a wild week 15, Brees is the only one that actually put himself in a very tight squeeze. Brees and the Saints went to St. Louis and laid an absolute egg against an average Rams team. Drew Brees never got going in this one, and that was very surprising. Brees was playing in a dome with home field advantage in the playoffs still a possibility, but he forgot to eat his wheaties on Sunday morning. Brees kept his fantasy owners appeased with a decent statline, but the Saints fans were appalled at the fact Brees turned the ball over three times. Now the Saints are in a must win situation when they go on the road to Carolina. New Orleans went from competing for homefield advantage to hoping they make the playoffs at all because Drew Brees forgot he was supposed to be a super clutch performer. Now Brees is going to have to take his game to a level he has not been able to do before, and that is to become a quarterback that produce a 100+ QB rating in a cold outdoor stadium.
Brady and Peyton were also very disappointing in week 15. Just like with Brees, both Manning and Brady were able to appease their fantasy owners, but they let down their teams' fans. Manning looked out of sorts the entire game on Thursday night against the Chargers, and it could be argued that Rivers put a voodoo curse on Peyton. Manning basically ignored his top targets (Thomas, Decker, and Thomas) all game, and kept his eyes on Andre Caldwell. Caldwell had more targets, 11, than Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker combined, 10. In must win games, teams usually rely on their big time playmakers, but for some reason, Peyton decided to play the extra sneaky game of ignoring your ballers and throwing to the other guy. The Broncos once looked like an unstoppable team, but now they have not only shown how weak their defense really is but that their offense can actually beat itself. Manning looked like he was overthinking things and that kept him from settling into a rhythm. Manning has a reputation for not being able to win the big game, despite the fact he has a Super Bowl ring, and it appears that reputation is about to catch up to him again.
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Brady may have actually had the most disappointing performance of these three quarterbacks. The reason is that Brady was the only one that had a chance to win, and he threw an interception on 4th and goal. Brady played a heck of a game, and he was right where he wanted to be, and yes, that is losing with the ball and less than one minute on the clock. Brady orchestrated another brilliant late game drive, and it took an unsung Miami hero, Michael Thomas, to put a stop to Brady's magic. The Patriots had a chance to take control of the #1 seed during the playoffs, but Brady was not able to complete yet another amazing comeback. Brady has been the most clutch QB in the NFL for over a decade, but he did not live up to his reputation on Sunday with homefield advantage at stake.
Brees, Peyton, and Brady will be back in action during week 16, and since they all had let down games in week 15, they will have no choice but to rise to the occasion in week 16. Brees and the Saints are on the verge of losing out on a division title, a playoff bye, and a home playoff game. It will not be easy for them to win in Carolina, but a lackluster performance last week has left Brees with no choice but to play his best game of the year on Sunday in Carolina. Manning's letdown has also put the Bronco's division title in jeopardy as the Chiefs have gotten back to dominating on defense and now they are also scoring lots of points. Peyton cannot afford to have another bad game, otherwise the Chiefs could take over as the #1 seed in the AFC. Manning's bad game last week has left him no choice but to ball out for the next two weeks, or he will need to pack a suitcase and get ready for a playoff road trip. Brady is also in a must win situation as the Patriots could also lose a first round bye, and now they must go to Baltimore and beat the defending Super Bowl Champs. While the fans of the Saints, Broncos, and Patriots are disheartened by the predicament their star quarterbacks have put their teams in, fantasy owners competing for a championship should be excited that the three best quarterbacks in the NFL are in must win games during week 16.
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